Short Form and Long Form are the Same

Written by Gary Schwartz on . Posted in Uncategorized

The distinction between short form and long form is a development that stems from the going awry or misunderstanding the focus of a game. These terms get bandied about as if they are two separate disciplines. They are not.

Spolin used these games as exercises to help players enter into that space where who, what and where merge into spontaneous theater.

Once players are able to establish and maintain the focus, the game will take as long as it takes. All plays and short scenes are about solving of problems. Scenes have problems that combine to make a play. The play presents a larger canvas to house the individual scenes.

The short form, or simple game, if misunderstood, allows actors to resist the focus and use their heads to make something ‘stage-worthy’. Gimmicks, jokes and the other stuff people complain about in this work is just a simple avoiding of the true focus.

Tales of Viola Spolin

Written by Gary Schwartz on . Posted in Uncategorized

How Viola Spolin Helped Me Overcome Self-Pity

“Poor me. Nobody loves me.” Underneath my cheerful façade, underneath my very well developed sense of humor, I walked aroundHollywoodwith that deeply embedded in my soul. I was working as a bartender, ministering to and medicating others’ pain with banter and booze while chasing the dream of being an actor in LA along with thousands of others.

My story is typical: I was the product of a childhood filled with family dysfunction – family chaos: Parents who did their best, but were totally unequipped to bring up a child with love and kindness. Instead, they were angry, spiteful and self-involved children themselves, who had created a family before they knew what they were doing. They resented the fact that they were now saddled with children and responsibility. They raised me and my brother and sisters with anger and resentment. How could they not? My childhood sucked. They loved me in their own way I guess, but as a child, I couldn’t see it. Poor me.